Canada isn’t what first springs to mind as a great vacation destination. However, when you want something a bit different from sun and sand, then cities like Toronto can offer a lot more than you might imagine. That’s no different for Montreal, the country’s second city. But when, exactly, should you get yourself up there? That’s one of the questions we’re going to be answering today.
Winters can be pretty brutal in Montreal, so when hockey season ends, that’s when everyone comes out of their cocoons and starts enjoying a much livelier lifestyle. That is perhaps no better exemplified than by the hugely popular Piknic Electronik, perhaps the city’s biggest music festival. If you want to listen to something a bit slower in tempo, the Montreal Chamber Music Festival might not be as packed but offers a whole month’s worth of jazz and classical performances to relax to and enjoy the city with.
When things really start heating up, then things get a bit more exciting in the city. If you didn’t already know, Montreal can go a little crazy, especially where fast cars are involved, with the Canadian GP drawing spectators from all over the world. If you prefer to get moving that to watch something move, then the International Tango Festival can give you plenty of opportunity to get up on your feet.
When the warmer months recede, it becomes all too easy to remember you’re in Canada, but it’s nothing to fret over. For Montreal folk, this is the time to slow down and enjoy a little more culture. The World Film Festival at Montreal is arguably the greatest show in the country (and one of the top in all of North America) for all you film buffs. Things get a little racier if you want to warm up on those cooler nights, too, with events like the Burlesque Festival ensuring that life doesn’t slow down too much while you’re there.
Brace yourselves, because winter in Montreal is no joke. Snow and ice become facts of life and temperatures in the single digits and commonly returning friend. So, do people all shut up indoors in the winter? Not at all. For one, this is when hockey season really picks up so you can expect to see some of the highest energy games of the whole year. It’s a time for the people of the city to come together and you can join them with magic spectacles such as Montreal En Lumiere, easily one of the more breathtaking light shows in the world. If you would prefer not to spend too much time outside, the Underground City offers plenty of respites, too.
Is it cheating that the answer is ‘pretty much any time of the year’? Maybe. It all depends on what you want from your holiday. If you want hot weather and plenty of spectacle, then a summer in Montreal can be just as good as anywhere else. If you can bear the frigid weather of the winter, then there are plenty of sights that make it all worth it. It’s down to what you want. Montreal has it all.